Synthetic drug bill signed into South Dakota law

Attorney General Marty Jackley, the South Dakota Police Chiefs' and Sheriffs' Associations, the South Dakota Department of Health and the South Dakota State's Attorneys Association announced last week that Gov. Dennis Daugaard has signed SB 23 into law adding synthetic designer drugs to the list of controlled substances.

These drugs are being labeled and sold as "bath salts," K2, Spice, Posh, Blaze and others.

Effective immediately, this state law prohibits the unauthorized manufacture, distribution, counterfeiting or possession of substances with high potential for abuse as a felony, punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment and/or fine.

Law enforcement is working on providing further public notice to retailers that are knowingly selling these products. Store owners are being advised to rid their inventory of these extremely dangerous substances and refrain from the selling of these products to consumers. Retailers or any other individuals who are selling these products may be subject to compliance checks to ensure that this law is not being violated.

"This legislation addresses serious health and public safety concerns that are too often affecting school age children," said Jackley. "We remain hopeful that retailers will work with law enforcement to remove these dangerous chemicals from South Dakota."

"I'm very pleased to see that the governor and legislature have sent a strong message with the passage of this law. We have experienced firsthand the devastating effects these dangerous drugs are having on our citizens and in particular our youth. We will vigorously enforce these changes and hope to bring a quick end to a drug that has no place in our communities," Sioux Falls Chief of Police Doug Barthel.

"I am very happy the legislature and Governor understand the seriousness of the synthetic drug issue. Their actions have created pro-family and pro-community law that will serve as a starting point for the removal of dangerous synthetic drugs. We will certainly respond with strict enforcement," said Rapid City Police Chief Steve Allender.

For additional information about these controlled substances contact the Division of Criminal Investigation at (605) 773-3111.

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